Costa de Almeria 30 May – 5 June 2019 Issue 1769



  1. An open letter to ‘Leapy’ Lee Graham.
    Dear Mr. Graham
    This may surprise some people, but as you know, I have actually agreed with you occasionally. This week, regarding your remarks about South Africa I agree with most of what you have written – broadly speaking. Sadly, South Africa has now become a place to avoid for most people of white Caucasian origin. Nevertheless, it’s not all that great for native black South Africans either! In truth, it never was. And there lies the heart of the problem. The sources of most of the trouble in the modern world usually lie in the past. This should be as plain as the nose on your face, and this could not be more relevant in the case of South Africa. (Due to shortage of space, I will overlook your conflation with Rhodesia/Zimbabwe and the utterly appalling Robert Mugabe for the moment. That’s a different story altogether.)
    As I began reading your article I waited and waited for you to mention that awful word ‘apartheid’. Eventually it turned up about half way through. But all you have to say about it is that you “also stayed in South Africa during and after apartheid and twice toured the country with two number one records in the late 60s.” A nice wee boast for you to slip into the column, but I’m sorry Mr Graham – if that’s all you’ve got to say about apartheid then shame on you – because it is the main cause of all the ills you mention in your article. So here are just a few of the bits you ‘forgot’ to mention because they didn’t suit your purpose.
    After first contact with the inhabitants of South Africa by the Portuguese, it was colonised by the Dutch and then by the British who ruled over the original (and mainly peaceful) inhabitants with no mercy. The extremely harsh and intolerant treatment of the locals by the British invaders led directly to the Zulu uprising in which it is estimated up to two million people were killed. Their homes were destroyed and whole swathes of the country became depopulated. This type of thing was quite typical of the British Empire’s ‘shock and awe’ policy in the colonies they invaded and it has led directly to a persistent hatred of the British people – some of whom (like yourself) still consider themselves rather superior to other races and cultures.
    In 1948 (during your lifetime Mr Graham) the National Party was elected to power by the white ruling minority. It classified the entire population into three different races, each one governed by different laws. The harshest and most restrictive laws were reserved for the native black majority. The most favourable ones were reserved for the white minority which was less than 20% of the overall population – and the seething oppression of apartheid was born.
    More recently, it looked as if things might improve when F W De Klerk finally accepted the inevitable. Nelson Mandela, previously imprisoned by the white minority government, was released and became the first black president of South Africa. Something closer to true Democracy was introduced, but most of the blacks were still living in abject poverty while the still rich whites and a new (largely corrupt) black political elite were living in luxury. Things only got worse when Mandela died. Fraud and corruption in both government and the business sector took over on a truly colossal scale. This further enriched the already rich, while poverty and deprivation increased in the black townships. Today, many of the blacks live in fear, surrounded by criminal gangs dealing in drugs, violence, graft, corruption, rape and prostitution. So it’s not just the whites, Mr Graham – it’s everybody!
    This is the legacy the British bestowed on the once proud people of South Africa.
    I invite your reply explaining your racial bias and why you distort the truth so often.
    Brian Eagleson


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